Reclaimed glass, natural materials and the regenerated prairie on the land of a sesquicentennial farm was the genesis of the sustainable design for the off-grid Glass Cabin designed and built by the architect. Located in the flood plain, the structure is raised to minimize the disturbance of the grasslands, allowing water and wildlife to run freely underneath.
Designed as a family retreat of occasional use, the extension of the front facade creates a man-made edge to the clearing in the woods next to the river, with "barn" doors sliding open to reveal the northern glass front, closing to provide security and blending into its surroundings. Large pieces of reclaimed clear and frosted glass were used and incorporated with operable windows to provide natural lighting and ventilation. An efficient wood burning stove and ceiling fans provide natural heat and cooling. The simple south facing white metal shed roof allows a 9-kilwatt solar array to provide completely off-grid power for supplemental lighting, heating and cooling. The exposed rough-sawn structure, barn doors, exterior and interior siding, and exterior decking is predominately Western Red Cedar, selected for its natural moisture-, insect-, and fire-resistance. It is a renewable resource...as well as smells great!
The structure is in essence a modified pole barn framing, typical of surrounding agricultural building. The integrated connections of triple lumber posts and beams, with precast concrete foundations, and the use of double roof beams with exposed structural wood decking, creates a uniquely crafted wood and glass cabin.